Gaming

People Are Finally Coming Around on Rodney, The Secret MVP of ‘Animal Crossing’

For too long, Rodney has been disrespected.

'Animal Crossing' fans are coming around to Rodney

2020 is the year of the rat, and rats are kinda like hamsters, which might be the only way to explain the sudden rush of affection for Rodney of Animal Crossing, who was once the most disrespected critter on the planet.

See, Animal Crossing is packed with iconic, unbearably cute villagers that players can live in harmony with. There’s Bob, the gloriously wacky cat; Peanut, the fluoro squirrel who negs players; and the despotic-but-good-natured Tom Nook.

Then there’s Rodney the hamster.

Rodney looks like this:

Admittedly, Rodney doesn’t quite fit with the aesthetic of the other Animal Crossing villagers. Nor is he particularly easy to get on with — he has the character type of ‘smug’, meaning that he can often be abrasive and unpleasant in casual conversation. He’s pretty much the prototype of ‘annoying neighbour’, and for years, the game’s community rallied against him.

Hell, Rodney hate runs so deep that there’s even a sub-Reddit dedicated to those who can’t bear him. When he does visit certain players, he’s often greeted with outright hostile behaviour, all in an attempt to drive him away from the island.

Indeed, some players have even taken the drastic step of demanding that he outright leave their island, the kind of behaviour only possible for those who possess the hardest of hearts.

But though these Rodney haters are loud, ever since the release of New Leaf, there’s been a quiet but notable turning of the tides. For every hater, a lover has sprung up in opposition. Those of us who were once quiet in our adoration of the hamster are making that respect known, and are speaking out in his defence.

Essentially, he’s become the figure of the underdog — an outsider taking on the (weirdly uniform and fascistic?) aesthetic codes of Animal Crossing, and stamping his own distinct mark on the one of the most popular franchises in gaming history.

Truly, Rodney is the villager that most requires our love and support. For too long the world has turned its back on him. It is high time to speak the truth, and admit what many of us have always known: Rodney is good.